Shares in FBD Holdings surged 9% in Dublin trade today after it said that its profits for 2019 are expected to be significantly ahead of market expectations. 

In a trading update for the year to the end of December, the company said its profits before tax are expected to come to at least €100m. 

It said that trading was ahead of expectations as a result of several factors, including exceptionally benign weather during the year and better than expected investment returns.

But the level of profits has been criticised by the Alliance for Insurance Reform.

"This trading update from FBD only confirms what report after report have already confirmed  – that motorists, small businesses and voluntary groups are being ripped off by insurers and lawyers," said Peter Boland from the organisation.

"Through reports such as the National Claims Information Database private motor report and insurers' financial statements, we can now see the scale of the profits that have driven the current insurance crisis."

"The untrammeled greed of insurance companies and lawyers is causing untold damage to whole sectors of Irish society."

FBD also said that its expects its Solvency Capital Ratio - the amount of funds that insurance and reinsurance companies in the European Union are required to hold - as at December 31 will be in excess of 180%. 

It said this is after allowing for any potential proposed dividend in line with its existing dividend payout policy. 

FBD will publish its financial results for 2019 on February 27.